Keith Walsh, 70, abseiled 170ft in the tower, in Trafford, Manchester, on Saturday June 25 to raise money for the national charity Brain Tumor Research after his daughter Zara Taylor was diagnosed with glioblastoma aggressive (GBM) following several convulsions.
Zara, also from Blackpool and married to Josh Taylor, was just 30 when she was diagnosed.
Zara, now 31, underwent surgery at the Royal Preston Hospital in February 2021 during the pandemic when no visitors were allowed, followed by radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
She is also receiving private treatment through the Care Oncology Clinic in Harley Street, London.
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Brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically only 1% of national cancer research spending has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Having recently set up a fundraising group under the Brain Tumor Research umbrella called Zara’s Appeal for a Cure, which has already raised nearly £15,500, Zara said: “Dad is amazing.
“I can’t believe he abseiled from Barton Tower. I was almost tempted to join him until I saw the tower from the highway and realized how She looked tall, even from a distance!”
Keith, a part-time delivery driver for Norchem Pharmacy in Blackpool, took on the mind-blowing challenge, which has raised over £850 so far.
He said: “My biggest fear was that the rope would break. Or that my Power Ranger suit, which was definitely on the big side, might fill up with wind and blow me away.
“Or even that I might end up looking like Mr. Blobby!
“Zara is our only child and lives between MRI scans every three months to check if the tumor is growing.
“It wasn’t the best day when we were told she had brain cancer. It changed our lives. We need to find a cure to help future families who receive the devastating news that their loved one has a tumor to the brain.”
Keith’s booster was his second fundraiser for brain tumor research, having participated in the charity’s Cycle 274 Mile August Challenge last year, along with his daughter.
Zara has also been involved in Brain Tumor Research’s Walk of Hope challenges, 10,000 Steps in February and Jog 26 Miles in May, as well as hosting a very successful party for 100 revelers in April this year which allowed to raise over £7,000.
Matthew Price, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumor Research, said, “We are so grateful to Keith and Zara’s Appeal for a Cure for their incredible support which helps us in our quest to find better outcomes for patients with of brain tumours.
“For too long, brain tumors have been a neglected cancer.”
Brain Tumor Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centers in the UK.
He also campaigns for the government and major cancer charities to invest more in brain tumor research to speed up new treatments for patients and ultimately find a cure.
To donate to Keith/Zara’s Appeal for a Cure, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/zarasappealforacure
To read Zara’s brain tumor story, go to www.braintumourresearch.org/stories/in-hope/in-hope-stories/zara-taylor